Or maybe it's Jane Austen?
Posted by Greg on January 19, 1998 at 23:08:11:
In response to on the relationship between literature and real life., written by Kate on January 19, 1998 at 14:05:18
...she also has an interesting bit on the folly of letting one's literary pursuits take over from real life...
"The 'no' in Northanger Abbey [she's done this whole thing about the importance of "no" and "negation" in the novel] is not merely to a kind of literature... but to a certain conception of the relationship between literature and experience, and, beyond that, to a certain conception of what it means to be a heroine. CM is foolish...in part because she lets what she has read, rathter than the evidence of her own eyes, shape her vision of life...
I think Catherine's problem is that the kind of the literature she was reading is so little connected with real life that it encouraged her not to accept the evidence of her own eyes. "Good" literature should encourage one to engage with and struggle with the realities of human existence... and Catherine certainly wasn't reading that!
] The question is, then, what is the kind of literature (or other medium) that is the equivalent of Mrs Radcliffe in our own time? Maybe it is the rush of "reality TV" (which bears little relationship to reality). Maybe it's Harlequin novels. Maybe it's the X-files!
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